- Frequency Response: 34Hz – 20kHz (-6dB) Sensitivity: (2.83v/1m) 90 dB
- Nominal Impedance: 4 ohms Crossover Frequencies: 3KHz Connection inputs: Bi-Wire
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 42.7″ x 9.4″ x 13.4″ Weight (each): 57.3 lb
- Component Retail: $1827 / pair (Luxurious Walnut Finish)
When I was a kid, I had a set of little plastic cars that had “Made In China” molded into the bottom of them. They were fun to play with, but pretty cheaply made and not nearly the quality of the much more expensive Hot Wheels. Now I haven’t been able to find a “Made In China” sticker anywhere on the Swan D3.2F+, but they are made by our Chinese friends over seas and there is nothing cheaply made about these speakers. The quality is top-notch top to bottom, and inside to out.
The first thing that tipped me off to the quality of the D3.2F+ was their weight. At only 3’6″ tall, they weigh a hefty 53lbs a piece and sink right into any medium to long pile carpet. Giving them a healthy rap on any side of the cabinet with my knuckle shows me where that weight comes from; thick side walls all around that sound fairly acoustically dead for MDF. I decided to do more investigating and removed one if the European designed woofers by unscrewing its twelve hex head screws to get a look inside these works of art. Looking through the driver cut-out past the thick baffle, I was able to see that the cabinet was braced half way down, all the interior walls except the front baffle were covered in thick foam, and there was even netting over the inside of the port tube to keep debris out! Excited by my finds, I turn the speaker around and removed the binding post cup to reveal a crossover composed of polypropylene capacitors among its high quality parts. The only thing I could find on this speaker that wasn’t class busting high quality were the jumpers on the dual binding post; they were the usually gold plated stamped pieces. If you think the phrase “Made In China” means low quality, you’re living in the past buddy.
Swan D3.2F+ review
Fit and Finish
Opening each box that the speakers were shipped in was a delight to realize how Swan had packed their D3.2F+. After splitting open the tape on the box, the side flaps opened to reveal multiple, large piece of styrofoam insulating the speaker from everything a shipping company could throw at them. As I pulled back the white foam, I was delighted once again to see that the speaker was further wrapped in a white, cloth, sleeve that was draw-stringed as the base of these almost 60lbs towers. It was simple to remove, but would have been much easier with the help of a friend. However, the combination of the styrofoam and cloth sleeve while shipping left me with a pair of speakers that were blemish free.
The Swan D3.2F+ is a D’Appolito-array design speaker with two six inch HiVi D6 woofers and a single one inch HiVi X1 tweeter on a slightly sloped baffle. Both of these drivers have been long time favorites in the DIY circles and both perform great while looking very modern. Swan claims that the advantage of this design is a better radiation angle of the sound and improved linearity, and I believe it. Their sweet spot is quiet large and they do radiate sound very well in a forward direction. I discovered during a few of my listening sessions with friends that everyone on my couch was able to enjoy the music equally well, which make the speakers very practical.
The D3.2F+ are finished in a matte black exterior with Walnut veneered side panels that I could swear were solid wood. The finish on the wood is so deep and glowing that I sat there and rubbed my fingers over the sides for a good five minutes when I first set them up. The matte black finish is very nice and matches the drivers very well, but does pick-up finger prints fairly easily; even if they are easy to wipe off. Even the flat black drivers add the overall styling of the speaker with their high count hex-head pattern; which I’m sure gives them great rigidity to the front baffle. The combination of flat black and glowing wood gives these speakers a very modern and elegant appearance that is sure to not offend any lady friend.
As I sank into my couch with Selah’s Be Still My Soul in the cue, I was excited to undergo the aural experience in front of me. I was hoping that the build quality would be an indication of the sound quality, but you never can tell. As I let the first song play through, my ears nor my soul were not disappointed. Sinking further and further into the couch with every passing track, I realized that I was enjoying this listening session more than I have in a long while. Chalk it up to the speakers themselves, rig synergy, or lack of major listening time lately, but I knew at this point my eyes wouldn’t even allow me to open them until the CD spins to a stop; I was in a musical coma of delight. Thank you Swan Speakers for producing your D3.2F+.
The next album I sent for a spin was Jen Chapin’s reVisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder. This album is an aural wonder, but played back through the Swans it is shown in all its glory. From the start of the album, Jen and her accompaniment fill the room with a very large and open sound from the D3.2F+. Even without closing my eyes, I can almost feel her breath as she exhales her sweet notes. The saxophone and bass easily occupy their own space and their sound is portrayed as very living and natural with a lot of body. Imaging is great with this jazz troupe on playback, and the Swans make me feel like I’m sitting in a spacious jazz club. Their ability to convey space and environment is fantastic. Being that this album is jazz, the topic of bass output always comes up. The D3.2F+ is a fair speaker in the lower octaves as it has twin woofers per cabinet. I, myself ran the speakers in full range for all of my listening. The bass is definitely present, but not powered subwoofer bass like many people like. Their bass response drops off fairly quickly from 50 Hz on which would most likely cause most bass-heads to use low end reinforcement. If you are a bass-head and want to only run full range speakers, these may not be the speakers for you since you will only be running two, six inch woofers per cabinet, and those drivers are pulling mid-range duty as well. The only time I felt the bass was over extended or bloated was when the D3.2F+ ran across the cannons in Telarc’s recording of the “1812 Overture”. The bass they do produce, along with all the rest of their sound, is tight, defined, and precise. But the best thing about the Swan speakers is the way in which they conveyed the music. They are a speaker that allows themselves to disappear and simply play music. The produced tones come across as effortless and musical. If you think that two-way speakers cannot give you a full, refined sound, you haven’t tried Swan Speakers.
The only interesting point I ran across with the Swans was their amplification. When I hooked them up to the Carver, the sound was full and the bass was powerful; exactly what I was expecting from solid state electronics. However, when my tube amp was swapped into the Carver’s place, I was not washed with the typical tube sound. It almost sounded like “tube light”. I could hear a noticeable difference between the two types of amplification, but there was not enough tube sound magic to counteract the pros of what the solid state was offering. I have almost always chosen tube amplification in the past because of its warmth and musical ability, but I just didn’t find that with these speakers. What I am not saying is tube heads not apply to the D3.2F+ as these speakers offer great value and sound. But, don’t automatically assume that your tubes will be the best electronics for this speaker or any speakers for that matter. I happened to like transistors better with these Swans. Tubes or solid state; the race just got real close thanks for Swan.
My only gripe with Swan at this time is that their speakers are fairly unavailable to the US consumer. You can’t just walk into most stores to pick-up a pair. In fact, the only real way to acquire a pair in through a few audio shops and websites, or being able to find a rare pair in some HIFI classifieds. However, this does not diminish the quality of speakers that they produce and I would not hesitate buying a pair without first listening to it. To add to that, for an extra $1000 dollars Swan will send you a matched center channel, two surround speakers, and subwoofer to complete your home theater; now that’s a good deal.1 Between the high quality drivers, electronic components, and cabinets, it’s no wonder that the sound Swan produces is itself high quality. Would I buy the Swan D3.2F+ for just under $2000? Yes. Would I buy any other speakers for that same price? Probably not. What makes these speakers so great is that they are exactly what this magazine promotes; high quality for the dollar. Of course there are better speakers for sale but they cost large sums more. And of course there are also good speakers for sale that are the same price as the D3.2F+, but few speakers have the combination of sound quality, build quality, and great styling that Swan can offer. I highly recommend the Swan D3.2F+ floorstanding loud speaker and am very excited to use Swans other speakers in the future.
- Music Server
- Denon DVD-557
- Custom K16LS Amplifier
- Carver PM1201 Amplifier
- Stereo Knight Magnetic Silverstone B&R Pass Labs B1 Preamp
- AMC 8 DAC
- Neko Audio XLR Interconnects
- Clear Day Double Shotgun Speaker Cables
- Cardas Crosslink Interconnects
- Monster Cable HTS 2500
external link: SWAN D3.2F official
from aﬀordableaudio, By Jake Montzingo